Scottie Pippen in New Book: Michael Jordan and I 'Aren’t Close and Never Have Been'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 3, 2021

Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan (45) and Scottie Pippen (33) return to the floor after a time out in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, March 19, 1995, Indianapolis, In. The Pacers defeated the Bulls in overtime 103-96 in Jordan's first game back from his 18 month retirement. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Scottie Pippen won six NBA titles alongside Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls, but the two didn't have much of a relationship off the court.

"Michael and I aren't close and never have been," Pippen wrote in his new book Unguarded, via Sopan Deb of the New York Times.

The memoir was highly critical of Jordan's commentary in The Last Dance, the 10-part documentary that followed the Hall of Fame guard and the Bulls' dynasty.

"How dare Michael treat us that way after everything we did for him and his precious brand," Pippen wrote in the opening pages of the book.

Jordan criticized Pippen several times during the documentary, notably referring to him as "selfish" for getting delayed foot surgery that caused him to miss the start of the 1997-98 season.

"You want to know what selfish is? Selfish is retiring right before the start of training camp when it is too late for the organization to sign free agents," Pippen responded in the book, referring to Jordan's sudden retirement ahead of the 1993-94 season.

The Bulls had won three straight titles from 1991 to '93 before Jordan stepped away from the sport for a year-and-a-half. Pippen led the Bulls to a 55-27 record in 1993-94 and a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals before losing in seven games to the New York Knicks.

Jordan returned at the end of the 1994-95 season before the team went on to win three more championships from 1996 to '98.

Though Jordan implied during the documentary that his aggressive leadership helped the team win, Pippen said in his book that they "won in spite of his getting on guys."

"We won when he retired," he said during an interview with Deb. "We didn’t win a title, but obviously we didn’t have a full roster, so."

Though Jordan is known as one of the best basketball players of all time, Pippen also has an impressive resume with seven All-Star selections and 10 All-Defensive team honors. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 and was named one of the top 75 players in NBA history last month.


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